With the 2021 Academy season and the Major League Soccer season on the horizon, the foundational cornerstone of Real Salt Lake – the RSL Academy – is gearing up to enter the MLS NEXT forum.
The RSL Academy reintroduces itself to the Academy competition landscape following an unprecedented year that was 2020 and made a notable acquisition to its ranks during the offseason through attacking midfielder Pearse O’Brien.
A product of the highly successful Oakwood Soccer Club in Connecticut, O’Brien joins the RSL Academy carrying a plethora of accolades through his top-class development at Oakwood. The region’s top-ranked prospect, his performances warranted heavy attention from the likes of other clubs around Major League Soccer who put priority in youth development including New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Sporting Kansas City, Atlanta United FC and New York City FC. O’Brien ultimately chose RSL due to its success rate with respect to moving into the professional ranks or a college program.
O’Brien, 16, holds dual citizenship in the United States and Ireland and has spent time with the Irish Youth National Team program that led to interest from overseas from Scottish side Celtic FC and England’s Fulham FC along with interest in the United States. After experiencing what the Zions Bank Training Center and the RSL Academy had to offer during a training stint with the club in September 2020, the highly touted recruit made the decision to uproot from Connecticut and join the club because he felt the RSL Academy afforded him the highest opportunity to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional player.
At just 16 years old O’Brien’s high level of play earned him a place on the Oakwood U-19 team as the group’s youngest player and during his training stint at the RSL Academy, trained with the U-19 group.
O’Brien joins an already formidable group of players already a part of the RSL Academy. All current players are listed below alphabetically by age group.
Anwar Ben Rhouma Tores